Kolken & Kolken. Results-oriented immigration lawyers - specializing in Green Card, Deportation Cases and Temporary Visas.

Battered Spouse Petition Approved

Published: Jul 1, 2010 7:00 am By: Matthew L. Kolken

We just obtained the approval of a Form I-360 battered spouse petition on behalf of citizen of Canada. Our client was initially admitted to the United States in 2002 as a Scientific Technician/Technologist with authorization to remain in the United States until 2003. He subsequently met, fell in love, and married a United States citizen in 2005.

Shortly after the marriage, our client hired an attorney for the preparation of his Green Card application. However, after hiring the attorney, our clientís spouse kept putting off filing the application. She would get angry at him when he brought it up, and threatened to report his overstay status to immigration authorities.

Our client soon realized that his spouse had begun drinking alcohol heavily. Although he was aware that his new wife had lost her driverís license in 2003 as a result of a DUI conviction, she had characterized the conviction as a mistake. He understood that mistakes happen, and accepted her explanation.

Unfortunately, the problems were just beginning. His spouse became physically abusive when drunk. Over the 14 months that they resided together as husband and wife, the abuser threw objects at him, punched him in the face and head, and hit him with objects such as a telephone. Knowing that our clientís eyesight was poor, his abuser would grab his glasses from his face during her attacks, rendering him unable to defend himself against her blows because he couldnít see them coming.

Despite the severe difficulties in the marriage our client encouraged his wife to seek help for her alcoholism, and although the abuser promised that she would, she continued to drink, which resulted in frequent and violent abuse.

His abuserís drinking ultimately led to another car accident in which she was severely injured. Our client also learned that the abuser had been having a longtime affair with an ex-boyfriend. After summoning his courage and strength our client ultimately fled the marital residence. Our client remains married to the abuser as she is unwilling to grant him a divorce because she expects him to keep her on his health insurance under threat of deportation.

We were retained and prepared the Form I-360, Battered Spouse Petition, and supported it with substantial evidence of the abuse our client suffered at the hand of his United States citizen spouse. Such evidence included affidavits of eye witnesses to the abuse, police reports, and photographs.

Thankfully, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved the petition, and deportation proceedings have been deferred to enable him to apply for his Green Card.

While the horrors of spousal abuse against women have been widely documented and condemned, men can also be victims of both physical and emotional abuse by their spouses. It is estimated that 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence in the United States each year. Men are often less likely to report the abuse against them, because they fear they will not be believed, or even if they are believed, that they will be ignored or humiliated.

Man or woman, it is imperative that you contact an experienced immigration lawyer if you are the victim of physical or psychological abuse by a United States citizen who is holding your immigration status over your head in return for your silence.

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